From: Josh Vermaas (
Date: Thu Nov 14 2013 - 13:16:36 CST

Hi Louis,

I haven't encountered this problem before, but if I were to have a
guess, it might have to do with how ppmtompeg was compiled (based on the
version information, it looks like you compiled it yourself). It looks
like it is missing a library (undefined symbol), and crashes before
anything is added to the animation. What you can try is to uncheck the
"delete image files" checkbox when running the movie maker (under movie
settings), which will let you manually attempt to generate the movie on
the command line from your source images. What I think you'll find is
that your ppmtompeg version is broken, and will crash no matter what
images you give it. If this turns out to be the case, I'd delete your
version, and install the packaged version, which is in the netpbm
package on apt-get, unless there is a good reason for compiling it yourself.


On 11/14/2013 11:41 AM, Louis Smith wrote:
> Hello,
> I am attempting to create a movie of a solvated short polypeptide,
> the trajectory for which I generated a while ago. Viewing and playing
> the trajectory movie-style in vmd works fine, but rendering it into an
> mpeg seems to have some issue. On the console, I get the incremental
> log outputs that say how long each frame took to render, but at the
> end of the (long) processing time for all the frames, when ppmtompeg
> is called by the program, it gives the following message:
> /usr/bin/ppmtompeg: symbol lookup error: /usr/bin/ppmtompeg: undefined
> symbol: overflow_add
> Movie generation complete.
> This does produce an mpeg file in the correct directory and with the
> name I specified, but when the mpeg is played, tthe player produces an
> error saying that there are no frames in the file specified.
> I have successfully (and recently) installed the entirety of the
> netpbm package, having verified carefully in the compile script that
> all of the prerequisite libraries needed were installed before making
> the installation. My operating system is Ubuntu 13.10. Note that
> /usr/bin/ppmtompeg is the place that ppmtompeg is installed on my
> system. In the terminal, asking for the version information for
> ppmtompeg gives the following result
> ~$ ppmtompeg --version
> ppmtompeg: Using libnetpbm from Netpbm Version: Netpbm 10.47.46
> ppmtompeg: Compiled Wed Nov 13 12:28:22 EST 2013 by user "root"
> ppmtompeg: BSD defined
> ppmtompeg: RGB_ENV='RGBDEF'
> ppmtompeg: RGBENV= 'RGBDEF' (env vbl is unset)
> louis_at_thetower:~$
> I'm fairly baffled by all of this, and haven't found this sort of
> error message on any forums remotely related to vmd or ppmtompeg via
> googling for it, so your advice is much needed.
> Thank you,
> Louis